Kouign Amann with Praliné Noisette

February 24th, 2014

kouign amann praline noisette

Kouign amann: this tongue-twistingly named pastry is also one of the tastiest things I have ever eaten, and seems to inspire such instant devotion wherever it pops up. Essentially an amped-up croissant with lots of extra butter and sugar added in, this pastry is not for those without a sweet tooth, or plenty of stomach space! Although kouign amann comes from France, its name is from Breton, which is a Celtic language. This pastry is a specialty of Brittany, where the Bretons settled after emigrating from Great Britain, way back in the 6th and 7th centuries. The name translates to “butter cake”; although the traditional form of kouign amann is indeed a large round “cake”, most of the ones I see today are individual-sized versions baked in small tart rings.

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Pink Ombre Cake for Baby’s 1st Birthday

February 6th, 2014

penelope bird pink ombre birthday cake

A couple weeks ago Isabelle turned one year old. One! How did my inaugural year as a mom pass so quickly!

I meant to post another update in between her six month milestone and now, but I guess a mega-ish update will have to do. Hopefully these periodic updates are still enjoyable!

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Pierre Hermé Hong Kong – Macaron Heaven

January 15th, 2014

pierre herme box lineup

One of the highlights of my visit to Hong Kong was a long-awaited reunion with one of my favorite patisseries: Pierre Hermé. While the macaron craze seems to have leveled out in the US, it’s going strong in Hong Kong. Ladureé and La Maison du Chocolat, among others, have already opened branches in Hong Kong, but Pierre Hermé remained tantalizingly out of reach. For the last few years all I had was my visit to Paris and a class in New York to sustain me. I was over the moon when I learned that Hermé was finally opening shop in Hong Kong, as it’s so much more accessible to me than Paris or Japan. His first store opened in the IFC mall in Central in May 2013; his second store quickly followed in Harbour City, Tsim Sha Tsui, in November, right before I arrived.

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Looking Back, Looking Forward: Mango Mousse Cake

January 8th, 2014

mango mousse rose

Happy 2014! I hope you all had a great holiday and are staying warm and cozy wherever you are. Now that the business of 2013 is done, I’m looking ahead to this year and a fresh set of to-dos.

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My Favorite Baking Books for 2013

December 20th, 2013

cookbooks

Hi readers,

It’s been a tough month. I have to admit it, this hasn’t been my best holiday season. Our first trip with baby Isabelle was a 15 hour flight to Hong Kong. And while I’m not going to complain about two weeks in glamorous Hong Kong or sunny Singapore, coming home was like falling headfirst into a hurricane: house to clean and decorate for the holidays. Jetlagged baby who temporarily forgot how to put herself to sleep. Presents to wrap and cards to write. Overflowing inbox at work. Christmas travel looming just weeks away (why are Thanksgiving and Christmas so close together??). Oh yes, and did I mention my book manuscript was due the week before Christmas?

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The Holiday Gift Guide for the Dessert Lover

December 11th, 2013

makecaron box

Holiday greetings! I just got back from a trip to Hong Kong and Singapore, and will be leaving soon again to visit family in the midwest. Combined with a jet lagged baby, Christmas shopping, and other writing commitments, I’m afraid I haven’t been able to update this blog sooner. I’m so eager to do a recap post of my trip to Asia, but before that I wanted to get my yearly best-of lists up before it’s too late to do any more gift shopping! So without further ado, here’s a list of my favorite pastry-related things this year – any dessert lover would be happy to find one of these in their stocking, or perhaps you’ll find something to add to your wish list!

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